The book on: QB Derek Carr

The Vikings' interest in QB Derek Carr hasn't been as public as other prospects, but it's there. The Fresno State quarterback accomplished a lot in his college career and is now considered a first-round value.

Fresno State University Bulldogs
Bakersfield, California
Bakersfield Christian High School
Clements High School


While teams are certain to debate in their "war rooms" and sports writers contemplate who might be the first quarterback selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, most are in agreement on which signal-caller is the most athletic and possesses the strongest arm in this class – Derek Carr, a draft legacy, as he is certain to follow his older brother, David, as a first-round draft pick.

David, also a Fresno State standout quarterback during his collegiate days, was the first overall selection in the 2002 draft by the Houston Texans. He gained national attention during the 2001 season, after connecting on 344-of-533 passes for 4,839 yards, 46 touchdowns and only nine interceptions, earning Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Sammy Baugh honors.

David started for the Houston Texans from 2002 through the 2006 seasons. He joined the Carolina Panthers in 2007, leaving for the New York Giants the next two years before joining the San Francisco 49ers in 2010. He returned to the Giants to back up Eli Manning during the 2011-12 campaigns, finishing his professional career with 1,353 completions of 2,267 passes for 14,452 yards, 65 touchdowns and 71 interceptions.

During David's playing days at Fresno State, Derek was a frequent visitor to the campus. He was also in attendance during a 2007 ceremony at the stadium when the Bulldogs retired David's jersey #8. It was a "no brainer" when the younger Carr eagerly signed his national letter of intent to join the program on May 25th, 2008. Derek lists his older brother as his favorite athlete because: "He is the kind of person I want to be." Another brother, Darren, was a walk-on defensive lineman at the University of Houston.

When Derek joined the Fresno State program in 2009, he requested and received the jersey number that was worn by his "second favorite" quarterback, former Green Bay Packers legend, Brett Favre (#4). The younger Carr would make his brother and Favre proud, as he would close out his career ranked second among active NCAA players with 113 touchdown passes, also ranking fourth in total offense (13,032 yards), third in passing yardage (12,842), second in pass completions (1,086), third in pass attempts (1,630) and fourth in touchdowns responsible for (118).

While Carr is more of a classic pocket quarterback, he does display decent mobility, scoring five times on the ground through 39 games in the starting lineup. In addition to his cannon for an arm, he is a patient passer with great field vision, tossing only 24 passes that were intercepted among his 1,630 attempts (.147 interception percentage). During his junior and senior campaigns, he also served as the team's "pooch" punter. None of his ten kicks were returned by the opposition and nine of them were downed inside the 20-yard line.

Carr's Fresno State career stalled during his first two years on campus. He saw just limited action in five games as a true freshman, completing 10-of-14 passes (71.4%) for 112 yards. The following year, then-Fresno State head coach Pat Hill stated that Carr was "in the mix" for the starting quarterback position as late as mid-July. However, days before the 2010 season began, the staff decided to red-shirt him.

Determined not to let his college decision be a waste, Carr had a fantastic preseason performance and emerged from 2011 fall camp as the Bulldogs' starting quarterback. It was a job he would not relinquish until concluding his college career 39 games later. His first year as Fresno State's starting quarterback saw the team slip to a 4-9 record, but Carr put up impressive numbers, ranking second in the Western Athletic Conference with a 144.51 passing efficiency rating. He placed third in the WAC in total offense (278.15 ypg) and ranked 22nd in the nation with an average of 272.62 aerial yards per contest.

During the summer prior to the 2012 season, Carr married the former Heather Neel. The couple had a son, Dallas, born August 5th, 2013, who was born with a medical condition that tied up his intestines and required three surgeries to correct. An Academic All-District VIII choice, Carr was a unanimous All-Mountain West Conference first-team selection and named the league's Offensive Player of the Year. He threw for 4,104 yards and 37 touch-downs against just seven interceptions, completing 344-of-511 attempts (57.3%) in 2012.

Carr continued to ‘climb up the draft ladder" based on his stellar senior season. He set conference records for yards passing (5,083), pass attempts (659) and touchdown passes (50), becoming just the fourth quarterback in major college history to throw for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a season. He also led the nation in total offense (5,199), passing yards per game (390.9), pass completions per game (34.85), touchdowns responsible for (52) and total points responsible for (302).

What made those figures highly impressive was that Carr did not have the benefit of much practice time, as he was often taking his ill son to doctors for treatments or attending hospitals to deal with the youngster's health issues. His "almost perfect" season saw him set the league record by attempting 305 consecutive passes without an interception. After that string was broken, he began another one that saw him throw 180 more passes without a pass theft.

Carr closed out his career as the 13th quarterback in FBS history to throw for over 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. He would also become the 19th major college passer to gain over 10,000 yards passing with over 100 touchdown tosses in a career. He also set 25 school records and 21 more marks in the Mountain West Conference record books.

The owner of 25 school records and 21 additional Mountain West Conference records, Carr started his final 39 games at Fresno State after appearing in his first five contests as a reserve…Completed an impressive 66.69% of his passes (1,087-of-1,630) for 12,843 yards and 113 touchdowns…Just 1.47% of his pass attempts (24) were intercepted…Scored five times via 164 carries for 190 yards, as he also caught one pass for a 1-yard loss…Served as the team's "pooch" punter the last two years, as nine of his 10 kicks were downed inside the 20-yard line, generating 319 yards…Also recorded a pair of solo tackles…NCAA Career-Record Charts…Carr recorded the 26th-best passing efficiency rating (152.80) in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history…His 12,843 yards passing rank 14th in NCAA annals…Placed 12th on that all-time chart with 113 touchdown passes…Finished 19th in FBS history with 13,033 yards in total offense…School Career-Record Charts…One of three Bulldogs to throw for over 10,000 yards in a career, he holds the top spot with 12,843 yards, topping the previous mark of 10,808 yards by Kevin Sweeney (1983-86). The other QB to throw for over 10,000 yards is Paul Pinegar (10,136; 2002-05)…Is the only Fresno State player to complete over 1,000 passes in a career (1,087), breaking the previous record of 848 by Pinegar…One of four Bulldogs to attempt 1,000 passes, he holds the record with 1,630 (previous was 1,405 by Pinegar)…Only five Bulldogs have completed at least 60% of their passes, as Derek's percentage of .6669 topped the old record that his brother, David (.621; 1997-2001) previously held…His 113 touchdown passes surpassed the old school mark of 80 by Pinegar…Has thrown at least four touchdowns in fourteen games, shattering his brother's old school record of seven…Had at least five touchdowns in seven of those contests, again topping David's previous FSU record of three…His 20 games with at least 300 yards passing surpassed David's old mark of thirteen in school annals…His 11 400-yard passing performances broke the old school record of four by Trent Dilfer (1991-93)…Is the only player in school history to throw for at least 500 yards in a career more than once (three, as that mark also set the Mountain West Conference career-record)…His interception percentage of 1.47 is the lowest by a Bulldog since Billy Volek (1.25; 1996-99) set the NCAA record…Recorded a string of 305 consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception in 2013, the second-longest string by an FSU player (Dilfer holds the record with 318).

Dave-Te' Thomas has more than 40 years of experience scouting for the NFL. With the NFL Draft Report, Thomas handles a staff that evaluates and tests college players before the draft and prepares the NFL's official Draft Packet, which is distributed to all 32 teams prior to the draft. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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